I have been looking forward to sharing this deck from the start of this series, so I hope you like it!
This list began its early stages as a brew messing around with a deck Kevin played a few months back on the YouTube channel you can see that video and decklist here Snake’s Passage. It involved an infinite combo revolving around Rite of Passage and Walking Ballista.
I tried a similar abzan list but quickly realized I was relying too heavily on the combo due to the tweaks I made, and got blown out by hand rip and Stony Silence. After a slew of losses I decided to try dropping black from the list, then a couple games playtesting later I dropped green as well. After those two transformations I realized my list was almost nothing like the original deck we started with. It now reminded me of an already established deck in modern; Soul Sisters. So I completely cleared my decklist and started over the brewing/testing process within the already proven and reliable shell. So here we are with the list today:
Although I went away from the infinite Rite of Passage+Winding Constrictor+Walking Ballista combo, we’ve still got an infinite through Lifelink+Walking Ballista+Archangel of Thune. To enable the lifelink piece of the combo we’ve got Nearheath Pilgrim which can be paired with the ballista or Hopeful Eidolon which can be tutored up alongside Walking Ballista via Ranger of Eos. As for the Archangel part, Sunbond provides an additional even more powerful “gain life get counters” effect.
Apart from the combo finish we still have beatdowns through Ajani’s Pridemate paired with Nearheath Pilgrim, or by hooking Sunbond onto Knight of the White Orchid or even one of our soul sister’s(they’ll get big quick). Take note, Sunbond reads “Whenever you gain life, put that many…” So, gain four life? Get four +1 counters!
Now I know I said I removed green from the list, and essentially that’s true, even with Leyline of Vitality included since if it’s in our opening hand we don’t need green to cast it. Still, I’ve included Dryad Arbor which Ranger of Eos can fetch up, and Flagstones of Trokair or Knight of the White Orchid to grab Temple Gardens to avoid having the leyline be a dead draw.
I just couldn’t pass it up, the Leyline makes for some super explosive starts and importantly allows you to play Walking Ballista on 0 to get it in underneath counterspells and hand rip, and also lets you use all the counters on it without it dying.
Well, that’s the deck! I will say it took a few times playing to realize all the intricacies. So if you try this one out, be sure to give it more than a try or two before you make up your mind about it, because in my experience it has been very competitive.
Till next time, brew on!